Julie Lassa’s Social Media Hegemony

Day 5: Still blocked on Twitter by Julie Lassa. Get caught up here and here for the catalyst of my digital damnation.

My persistence is pursuing this story is not motivated by petty politics. While I encourage Republicans to go into the crevasse of politics and start beating Democrats at their own game, the underlying point of this battle must not be lost: A democrat state senator personally blocked me on Twitter because I offered an argument counter to hers — or at least that’s the best I can surmise after being shut out by her office — while urging reconsideration of the Right to Work bill because everyone’s voice and opinion had to be heard.

When contacted yesterday, her office insisted that the account is managed personally by Sen. Lassa, even when it would have been politically expedient to say that an accident had been made, the senator appreciates all viewpoints, and the office will carefully review its internal social media policies to encourage engagement from many different people. Nope, her crack press guy shoved all the blame directly onto his boss, said I’d have better luck calling her at home, and ordered me to not call the office again.

In the ensuing kerfuffle, I squared off with one of her supporters in a Facebook thread on Monday. He arrived at the conclusion that I and the @morning_martini handle should absolutely have been blocked, conflating having posed a counterargument with levying attacks.

Screenshot 2015-03-02 16.26.16

Screenshot 2015-03-02 16.29.11

This is the state of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin. This is what losing election after election does to the base.

Unfortunately for Mr. Kotek, I truly don’t have any interest in debating the minutiae of Right to Work policy with him. My party’s in power, the law is going to pass, and it’s a good foundation for long-term economic success in the state. Fortunately for me, I’m not a state senator, either, and this website is more about politics than policy.

In that thread, you’ll observe a winding discourse away from the central point — that Julie Lassa, a Democrat state senator, personally blocked me on Twitter because I offered an argument counter to hers. Part of that diversion was on purpose for the sport of it, but it was worth the hustle: it revealed the sincere belief from Mr. Kotek that any sort of opposition is construed as harassment and ought to be silenced. One other commenter chimed in to agree with him that my voice should be silenced.

It was sort of fun playing ball for awhile, when usually we’ll let this kind of thing just fizzle. Certainly, Sen. Lassa’s press aide seemed to wish the topic would just die when he and I spoke Monday morning, and keeping up with this commenter has been exhausting — especially when, after hours of tit-for-tat, he just started calling me names.

But this is the kind of thing that can’t be forgotten.

It’s tragic that a single tweet is thought of as harassment, one that doesn’t call names, make fun, or cause trouble. There are plenty of people out there who do that sort of thing and they thrive on the negativity, which seems like a sad, lonely existence. We’ve made a point on these pages to get more than cheap shots across the bow and always to ask, so what?

Here’s what: We learned a democrat state senator named Julie Lassa silences opposing viewpoints when she says she’s a champion of open discourse.


About the writer: Nik Nelson is publisher of MorningMartini.com and Founder/CEO of OpenBox Strategies, where he connects political candidates and small businesses with excellent digital marketing tools and strategies.